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README.md

CATS

Cable Automated Test Solution (CATS) is a pre-integrated software bundle that provides a common framework for validating customer-premises equipment (CPE) for functional testing and stability tests. The CATS automation framework can be used by the broadcast community for improving the amount, type and quality of auto-mated testing. CATS focuses on manual and automated Set top usage through IR and Power Control used for video inspection.

Benefits

  • Reducing the Length of Test & Development Cycles
  • Shorten Time to Market
  • Improve Overall Product Quality

Build Instructions

Reference Hardware

For a fully functional CATS installation the following devices are needed:

  1. IR emitter controller a.k.a. IR blaster
  2. Power/Reboot switch - network controllable
  3. IP Video Encoder
  4. Network switch
  5. PC/Server or VM (CentOS6/RHEL6 compatible)

Only one device in each category is needed.

Supported Devices

IR Emitter Controller

Function Vendor Model No of Ports Approx. Street Price Product Link Comments
IR Global Cache iTach IP2IR 3 ~$100 http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/ip2ir-pspecs/? small footprint, can fit 6 onto a 1U rack shelf
IR Global Cache iTach IP2IR(-P) 3 ~$130 http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/ip2ir-pspecs/? supports PoE (802.3af)
IR Global Cache GC-100-18R 6 ~$250 http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/ip2ir-pspecs/ rack version with six ports

Power/Reboot Switch

Function Vendor Model No of Ports Approx. Street Price Product Link Comments
Power WTI NPS-8HS20-1 8 $760 http://www.wti.com/p-183-nps-8hs20-1-network-power-switch-pdu-20a-120v-85-15r.aspx Expensive
Power Synaccess NP-0801DT 8 $350 http://www.synaccess-net.com/remote-power.php/1/3 Cheaper

IP Video Encoder

Function Vendor Model No of Ports Approx. Street Price Product Link Comments
Video encoder Axis P7214 4 $700 http://www.axis.com/products/cam_p7214/ supports PoE(802.3af)
Video encoder Axis P7216 16 $1700 http://www.axis.com/products/cam_p7216/ newest model

Network Switch

Any standard Ethernet network switch or router will work. The only assumption CATS makes about the network:

  • The CATS server can communicate with all the devices
  • The users can access the IP video encoder and the CATS service.

To reduce the amount of cabling it is preferential to use a PoE-capable (IEEE 802.3af) switch as some of the IR emitter controllers and some of the IP video encoders can be powered via PoE - reducing the number of power bricks in the whole setup.

PC/Server

CATS is currently only supported on CentOS 6 (and RHEL 6). The PC/Server hardware needs to be therefore supported by one of these operating systems.